Camera for daughter in 6th form... (16 years old)

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by rob_shooter, Sep 9, 2009.

  1. My daughter has just started to study A-level photography here in the UK. She has no experience of SLR cameras - usual teenanger these days, thinks camera phones are what life is all about ;-)

    Anyway, in an effort to arm her with a reasonable piece of kit to cut her teeth on I was thinking maybe a D70s that can be had for under £200 and possibly a 50mm f/1.8.

    I'm bypassing the film vs digital debate - will go with diital

    Has anyone any other recommendations?

  2. Good choice. Stick with that.
  3. Hi Rob! It sounds like a good choice. My son is a 4th grader. For Xmas I bought him a used D50 so he can use the old AF lenses which are cheaper and he doesn't destroy my good AFS lenses either.
    I picked the D50 coz it fits better on his small hands. Otherwise a D70 would be also great. Also I was looking for few megapixels files coz I don't wanna fill up the computer with his shots. Believe me, he can take a lot of shots per hour! :)
  4. You might consider a D100 because of the durability.
  5. I`g get other lens. A 35/1.8AFS or 35/2AFD seem more reasonable to me on a DX camera.
  6. I`g get other lens. A 35/1.8AFS or 35/2AFD seem more reasonable to me on a DX camera.​
    Too right. I keep forgetting about that since I own FX... *shame*
  7. A sound choice of camera
  8. I agree... at this point, a D50 or D70 would probably be better than an older-yet, higher-end camera since they're probably not going to destroy it and would benefit from being one generation newer.
    But yes, the 35/1.8 would be a great choice as it is cheap, light, sharp, and easy to handle. Maybe just get her that and the 50/1.8 for starters (or obviously the kit 18-55 can be picked up for about $100 US).
  9. A D50 or D70 should work very well. Also a 35mm f1.8 or 35mm f2 used would be good for starters or one of the kit 18-xx zooms. I had a 18-70mm with my D70 and it did well. I do prefer primes though.
  10. A D70 or D50 with a 50mm f1.8 sounds good to me....
    The 35mm f1.8 is going to be more expensive than the 50mm. Personally I would put the extra funds to upgrading the camera to a D200 as it has more features to help in the learning process.
  11. Hi Rob.... I, too, would vote against the 50mm and for the 35mm. Either the new 1.8G, or a 2.0 or 2.0D. I'd stick with a D70 or D70s for the two control wheels, and I'd suggest avoiding any zoom at this point in her learning, even the very decent 18-55.
  12. If you or she have not already done so, then check with the course tutor - what do they recommend?
  13. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    First of all, I believe the 6th form in the UK is the equivalent of the 12th grade in North America, so we are talking about an older teenager perhaps around 17 years old or so, not a little child. Rob, is that correct?
    The D70 is an ok camera for learning. The main issue is the quality of the viewfinders. I would make sure that your daughter is happy with that viewfinder before getting it. Instead of a fixed 35mm or 50mm, I would get a zoom such as the original 18-70mm AF-S. Having more focal lengths to choose from will give her a lot more creative opportunities.
    Other than the viewfinder issue, I would get the D70 over the D100. Construction quality is similar but the D70 has newer technologies; e.g. the D70 uses the current i-TTL flash technology instead of the discontinued D-TTL.
    My very first Nikon lens from about that same age is a 43-86mm/f3.5 zoom. I still own that lens today.
  14. I assume that Shun is right since the OP refers to her as a teenager. A 6th grader in the US would be a preteen, probably 11 or 12 at most. A D70s or D50 would be a good choice. The D50 is a little smaller and lighter which may or may not be important. I would go for a used 18-55 over either a 35mm or 50mm because I think that she would enjoy using a zoom more than a prime. I was a teacher for 30 years and I know how important motivation is. She's more likely to stick with photography if she enjoys it.
  15. Hi,
    thanks everyone for your responses so far. Yes, she is just turned 16.
    I used to own a 18-70mm and recall it being a fine kit lens - how does it compare to the 18-55?
  16. i'd get the kit lens that comes with it --- 18-70mm. excellent kit. take advantage of the modern technology available now. i believe that the camera/fixed lens combo as a learning tool is old school. when i teach basic photography in our neighborhood community center i always encourage students to bring their wide-to-zoom lens if they have one.
  17. I'd go for the 18-70 unless cost is a factor. It has a little more reach, it's a better lens, and it's cooler than the 18-55 which everybody has. She's a kid. Things like that matter.
  18. there is less distortion at 18mm on the 18-55mm but the 18-70mm is better overall --- image quality and built (metal mount). not to mention the extra 15mm. BUT it's almost double the price. it's worth it, though.
  19. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I grew up in Hong Kong which was under a British government at that time. You have 6 years of primary school and then Form 1, 2 .... Therefore, you need to add 6 when you convert to the North American grades 1 to 12 (or 13 for Ontario).
    I really dislike the 18-55mm/f3.5-5.6. It has a very consumer-grade construction with a plastic mount. Max f5.6 is very slow on the 55mm end. I find it a pain to use indoors. The 18-70 is a better lens overall. It has some serious distortion at 18mm, but I doubt that a 16 year old will care (or even notice).
  20. Rob.... The 18-70 is the best of the basic kits lenses, hands down. But I'd still suggest a single 35mm prime.
    One of the things people lose when they learn with a zoom is the effect that camera position has on everything. While those of us that know photography can use a zoom as a collection of focal lengths, the truth is that beginners tend to compose with the zoom. A static photographer is a boring photographer. She needs to learn fundamentals, not cover all the focal length bases out of the gate.
  21. oh! OK! My son is just 4th grader..... 10 years old!
  22. Another vote for the 18-70... I love primes because they learn me to think a bit more before shooting, but first I had to learn the effects of focal lenghts on a composition, for which a zoom is far more useful (but that might just be my learning curve).
    For the camera, a D50 also makes an excellent choice. I wonder whether 2 control wheels and a DoF preview button make a big difference for a generic course, and with that in mind a D50 might be a bit cheaper and in my experience the pictures need less post-processing (D70 images are a bit "cold", to my taste).
  23. I would go with a used d40x, d50 or d60 off of ebay. get a fixed length lens ... like a sigma macro (nice lens, cheap).
    she will be happy and she can look forward to her first zoom!
    good luck,
  24. I'd get her a Canon 20D.
  25. Hi Rob, for the international crowd who are unversed in Brit education system, maybe just spell out her age?
  26. as a Canon user....who has nothing against Nikon user's.....some of my best friends use Nikon....but in all honesty, I think the Canon Rebel series are some of the best cameras out there for a beginner. The xti , xsi, or t1i are some of the best image quality cams in the world concedering cost vice quality. If you have the money, going beyond the normal kit lens might be advisable.....say maybe Canon's 16-35mm f/2.8.............yeah pricey...but looks like a great lens......and then maybe the 50mm f/1.8 inexpensive wonder along with it.
  27. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    While Canon also makes some nice entry-level DSLRs, since Rob is a Nikon user with a number of lenses and accessories, it makes a lot more sense for his daughter to use Nikon also so that they can share lenses, unless Rob's objective is to make sure that his daughter doesn't borrow his lenses. :)
    I also added the daughter's age in the subject.
  28. You got it Shun - plus as I retire some of my old gear over time she could make use.
    Am pretty much a solitary photographer but will be fun taking her alongside me and passing on a few tips - to each other no doubt ;-)
  29. Why not ask her instructor?
    Remember any Nikon (not a D3 or D700) will have a 1.5 (aprox) crop so the 50 will be a 75mm.
    When I was in College (many moons ago) my favorite walk around was a 35mm on a 35mm camera, or the 2.1cm nikkor with the seperate viewfinder, now that was fun!
    Primes will force her to think and move to get the shot, not just zoom til it looks ok.
    Good luck.
  30. The discontinued D60 is going for $450 CDN with the 18-55 kit lens brand new. I think it's a great starter camera and that's not much over £200 if it's the same price on your side of the pond.
  31. yeah....hand me down lenses are a def plus.....cant argue with that. My kids never did get the photography much as i daughter has blessed me with twin boys for of them has got to like photography.....I'm counting on
  32. My kids are 6 and 9 and both have Powershots which they love. 4MP and shortish zoom range. The youngest gets his stolen A620 upgrade in the form of a 'new' A630 next week. Exciting stuff!
    By the time they're at college my 5D will have matured enough to hand down but then I'm sure that in 5 years there will be cheap full frame options from most manufacturers. Maybe it's not a good idea to keep the full frame conversions going but whilst manufacturers still advertise their digicams as example 28mm equivalent or 24mm equivalent then it could be the sensible option.
  33. The used D70 (or D60 even for its light weight) with 35mm lens idea does sound pretty compelling. As Joe said, beginners tend to think that zooming is composing and miss some important learning that way. When I wasfirst taking classes, we were all told to use a fully manual camera with a 50mm lens and T-Max film - eliminate as may complications as possible, even including color - and it was a valuable learning experience.
    Also, the consumer zooms aren't fast enough to really work with DOF.
  34. In england when children start secondary school the year numbering starts again from 1. A person in 6th year or 6th form would be around 16-17 years old.
  35. pge


    I know that this is a nikon forum so I might get beaten up for this one. In my defence I am a loyal nikon owner, I have the d1, d200 and d700 along with 14 lenses.
    But I also have a daughter of roughly the same age, and they are only going to love photography because it is fun for them, not because you buy her the sort of camera that you want or would use. The Canon G10, or now the G11 is on its way, is a fun, quality camera. It has all the manual controls if she wants to try that out, but it has many gadgets that would appeal to a teenager. Its a great camera all around and isn't a big heavy dslr which she may not want anyways. Its a real camera unlike a phone, but without imposing Dad's ideas of what a camera should be. Just my thoughts, I bought my daughter one.
  36. Hi, i am also a 6th former studing my last year of photography got a "A" in AS and loved it. i would stick with the choice she has but the D40 is all she will be needing unless she is thinking of doing it as a Degree?...
    but otherwise the D40 is strong, cheap, and very easy to use
  37. I may get booed off this forum, but for a 16 year old I'd buy a moderately high end P&S with a movie mode and and all the other things that a teenage loves. A camera she will carry around in the book bag and use. If she is like most teenagers I know a DSLR will spend most of its life in her room
    And--I hang my head in shame--if the girl has a technical bend I'd buy a Canon. That way she can down load the free CHDK firmware extension and be introduced to joys of RAW processing and other interesting things that the Canon folks (and Nikon folks) forgot to implement in their firmware.
  38. Update: I just got to see my daughters syllabus for the chapter is entitled "An overview of the Nikon D40". Apprently this is the camera the school has a limited number of that they make available to students to use if they don't have their own camera.
    So will stick with the D70s due to the internal focus drive etc

Share This Page